ROAD TRIP – DAY ONE

I started my road trip back to the Florida Sea Base early Monday morning; my first destination was our homestead in SE Texas to visit my dad and to load up some tools and parts that I need for projects onboard Escape.

Right about two hours into the five hour drive the motor in the 1991 Suburban suddenly quit.  I coasted onto the rain soaked grass on the side of a 2 lane highway with no shoulder.  I was not quite in the middle of nowhere, but I was about 10 miles NW of the thriving metropolis of Palestine, Texas.  The big issue was easy to diagnose; fuel was not getting to the motor.  But why?  I suspected it was the fuel pump.

There was some good news at this point.  I have AAA Texas Plus which provides free towing for 100 miles.  And there is a Chevy dealership in Palestine.  (No kidding!)  So I called the Chevy dealer and explained my predicament.  They said they would be happy to look at it in a day or two.  Really?  Really.  They said that was the best they could do.  So I called AAA.  (Three As, not 2.)  They had a “preferred” independent shop in Tyler, Texas, about a 2 hour detour from my scheduled route.  I called that shop and they sounded much more interested in helping so I decided to go with that.  Then AAA called back and said it would take two hours for the wrecker to find me.  Great.

More good news, the wrecker arrived much quicker than anticipated AND the driver knew a shop in Rusk, Texas (on my route) that could get me on the road in short order.  So the Suburban was loaded onto the wrecker and we are off to Rusk.  About half way there all traffic was stopped.  A massive hardwood tree has fallen across both lanes of road.  There were a few guys with chainsaws whittling on the tree.  [Yes, we really haul them around with us in the backs of our trucks.  Case in point.]  We pull up in the wrecker, hook a chain onto the tree, pull the tree into the ditch and the road was open.  On to Rusk!

We arrived at Beck’s Auto just before noon.  The folks were exceptionally nice (most people are around here).  Three and a half hours later (at $100 per hour) I was  singing Willie’s hit, “On the Road Again”.  The first leg of the journey is in the bag.

Tuesday will be spent preparing for the long leg of the trip, the 20+ hour marathon from Jasper, Texas to the Florida Sea Base.  This is going to be challenging because I will have to dodge thunderstorms while trying to load tools, parts, dive gear, computers and personal effects into the Suburban.  I hope to leave here very early Wednesday morning and arrive at the Florida Sea Base before the highways are clogged with Memorial Day vacationers flocking to the Gulf Coast areas.

I’ll post when I can.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

One Response to “EAST BOUND AGAIN”

  1. Tim Gaffron says:

    Life is an adventure! Stay safe and between the lines… 🙂
    How long will you be at FSB? Our crew arrives June 18th.

    Tim in MN

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